Fresh Off the Plane

Two weeks since we first landed, and boy has it been a trip!

The first week was full of exploration and SO. MUCH. JETLAG. Something I’ve learned this time around is that going through jetlag as a parent means you have no say in how fast you over come it-it is 100% up to the littles. If the kids are up at 3am, you are up at 3 am. 🀦

Something that EASILY made up for this, however was that the food around here is AMAZING! We heard this was a foody place, being the cross roads of so many cuisine culture, and that has been 110% true. We’ve had amazing, authentic Chinese food, Georgian food, and Turkic food.

As well as some fun stuff like a Kung Fu Panda themed restaurant and a vegan burger from a disco ball food truck!

Thankfully at the end of week one we were able to locate and move into a new apartment! It is a 5th floor apartment with no stairs BUT we have an amazing view of the mountains outside our windows. #worthit

Something I’ve also realized is different moving with kiddos – it takes FOREVER to unpack. I’m the kind of person who wants to unpack ASAP because I want to get out of ‘transition mode’ as fast as I can. But between a 3yo who wants to dig all her toys out first and a 4 month old who wants to be held all the time, and getting back to my full time job, it has taken me the full week to unpack. We are just about there, though! πŸ™Œ

Other things we’ve been up to – checking out all the parks to find our favorites, Chris has started his first week language classes, trying to buy all the household items, AND our littlest one can now roll over, reach her toes, and giggle! We’re definitely trying to live it up in this “honeymoon season” of living abroad again!

Packing Up

I have come to the conclusion that I have a packing problem. Seriously, EVERY SINGLE TIME we pack to go abroad I tell myself “Ok self, we are going to be smart this time. We will make a list, we will pull all that stuff together, and we will fit nearly everything in suitcases so that our carry-ons won’t become monsters again.” And EVERY TIME we finish packing, I’m shoving extra things into carry-on because I neglected my list. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ And so I’m back to carrying a beast though the airport.

We spent the weekend in a packing frenzy because 1) We are going to my folks before flying out of Dallas on Thursday and 2) Because I’m still doing a 40 week at work. Thankfully I’ll have a week of PTO to spend once we arrive!

We are on our way to Texas today. Our little Pontiac vibe is crammed with half our luggage. We’ll have a luggage drop off midweek to collect the rest.

Please lift up our travels and especially our girls on this trip.

WFHSAHM

Work From Home Stay At Home Mom – is WFHSAHM too long of an acronym? πŸ˜…

This is my life these days. Returning to work last week with two littles has been a new challenge. There’s lot of babywearing, a lot of finding new entertainment, and a great amount of parental teamwork. (I’m so glad to have a partner in this!)

We now have TWO of our four visas for entering our new country! We’ve been told the next two should arrive in the next couple days! We are SO ready to get going!!

All in all, I’d have to say things are going pretty well!

Insurance and Visas and Training…Oh My!

So much to do, so little (free) time

Visa Pic aka Mug Shot, lol

Today we spent the day applying for global health insurance, setting up email, taking pictures for visas and going through some training material.

Basically we tried to tackle as much as possible because (a) Chris is finally done with this semester’s coursework! Hurray! and (b) today was our oldest’s last day at preschool. It was a very small window of generous availability, so we took it!

Last day of preschool stateside; so thankful for their love and support this year!

Next week is going to be a big change for us. (Not the biggest change coming, but still big!) Next week I return to working full time and our oldest daughter returns to being home full time. Plus we’ve still got out littlest home with us full time. Thank goodness Chris has a semester without classes coming up! Please lift us up as we make this transition! May G-d grant us lots of patience and wisdom!! πŸ˜†πŸ˜…

We’re getting so close to being able to board that plane! Some days this sentiment feels true and exciting. Other days it feels like we’ll never get there.

We are sure ready to get out of this place of limbo! Ready to start this new chapter!

A Million Packing Lists

We are getting so close to returning overseas, it’s crazy!

It has been a LOOOOOONG wait.

We were originally slotted to return to the field last autumn. Then it was supposed to be sometime in February. Now were hoping that July will be our departure month. (Yep, this month!)

Covid-19 really threw a wrench in our plans last year (as we all know too well). But we have worked to make the most of our time, including Chris taking on more PhD classes, and having another kid!

But now it is so close we can taste it!

We’re starting to make ALL the packing lists. I (Courtney) have been working on clothing lists for me and the girls. Chris has been taking inventory of music equipment. I’ve got a TO DO list that includes getting on global health insurance, seeing family and friends, and getting all the newborn doctors appointments done. Chris’ TO DO list has him working on securing our visas, applying for language school, and temporary housing for when we land.

Luckily, I love a good list. It is reassuring and (dare I say?) fun.

Unluckily, air travel is still a bit of a lottery these days. Normally the day we purchase our tickets give us a defined point in time to look forward to. But right now, nothing is guaranteed. We are moving forward as best as we can. We are so ready and our hearts are so yearning to get on that plane! We’re so ready to be participating again to the work we are so passionate about. And despite the uncertainty, we are working to stay excited for the months to come and trust that they WILL come, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Someday all these lists will be worthwhile!

Sometimes the waiting is EXHAUSTING

We are still looking for financial partners! If you are interested in knowing more about us and the work we do, please email us at troutmanrhythm@gmail.com. We will welcome each and every question you have for us! And there is ZERO pressure to commit.

Or if you are inspired to give today, you can support us here: https://artistsforcommunity.givingfuel.com/teamtroutman

We also ask that you lift up the following:

  • A smooth visa process
  • Boarders remain open
  • Airline fight does not get cancelled
  • Patience and grace during this time

Four Passports

As of today we are officially a FOUR PASSPORT FAMILY!! HURRAY!!

Since the birth of Kiddo #2, this was our first big step towards returning to life overseas! We are thrilled! 😁

Next we will need to secure visas, then we’ll be able to buy tickets!! (There are loads more steps to being ready to return, but these are the major markers)

🎢And there was much rejoicing🎢

New Arrival and Preparation!

We are excited to share that Team Troutman has officially grown to include our second daughter, Alexandra!! I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since she greeted the world with her first breath! Life has been a whirlwind ever since, but we are so smitten with her!

Born May 7th

Again with this pregnancy we faced gestational diabetes and that sure made things trickier. And even though we had hoped to deliver our second child overseas, we are thankful for our awesome care team here in the States. We have some awesome doctors and nurses and we thank the Father for them!

Delivery was induced early, but otherwise smooth. Chris was happy to have the birth day scheduled again rather than having to rush to the hospital. Courtney was thankful to have given birth without need of an epidural (like last time) or cesarean delivery. And recovery has been MUCH smoother than last time, PTL! We are thankful for all of you who Lifted Up our smooth delivery and are filled with joy to have received the blessing of happy and healthy Mom and Baby!

Big sister loves the new baby, but is still adjusting to having a sibling. Chris and Courtney are still trying to figure out how to parent a toddler and a newborn at the same time. Suffice to say, life is a bit on the crazy side these days, but we have been able to be surrounded with family – what a blessing that has been!

Now that #2 is here, we are working on getting everything set up for returning to life overseas! Getting passports for the two kiddos (have you ever tried to get a passport picture of a 1 week old? – it’s a challenge!!), figuring out which visas are available in this continued season of Covid-19, contemplating what packing-up-life as a family will look like (we’ve only really MOVED as a couple before), and considering some housing options for when we arrive.

Our hope is to be boarding a plane sometime this summer and heading to a brand new country to start studying yet another language! Though if this last year has taught us anything it’s that we need to hold these plans loosely. We are ready and willing and very excited to return to service in the fields!

Please Lift Up:

-Our Health

-Visa/school/housing/childcare arrangements for arrival

-These months of saying Goodbye – it doesn’t get easier

-Wisdom for us as we begin the journey of parenting Third Culture Kids

-Finances — Because of this last year of quarantine and limited travel, raising support has been a huge challenge. Thankfully, Courtney has a remote job that will be able to provide for us this term, but it will limit her M work. We’d love for her to be able to return to full-time M work and motherhood.

If you or your Community would love for us to visit and share more details about this new Vision, feel free to contact us via email at troutmanrhythm@gmail.com .

If you’re interested in financially supporting us, you can find that information at https://artistsforcommunity.givingfuel.com/teamtroutman .

And if you’d like to join those who have committed to lifting up the Father’s work through us, you can find more information here: https://rhythmtheoffbeat.wordpress.com/our-prayer-calendar/ .

Merry Christmas – Gender Reveal!

We hope all of you have had a blessed Christmas celebration! Covid-19 has certainly made this celebratory season more challenging, but also made us become more creative and more appreciative of the time we have to spend with loved ones. We’ve had a great Christmas season and are still celebrating!

We also recently found out the gender of our Little-One-On-The-Way! Over Christmas we found a couple fun ways to let family know — one of which we recorded for you to enjoy as well! We can’t tell you how excited we are to welcome another life! We’re about halfway through the pregnancy now (19 weeks)!

In other news – we’re keeping our prep work moving forward. We’re SO thankful that vaccines have been developed and are now being distributed. We aren’t very high up on the list to get one, but we’re thankful that healthcare workers and teachers are! We’re so thankful for the work that they do — amazing work that changes lives on the daily!

We have a “next location” and are almost at a point we can announce! If you’re not on our newsletter mailing list and would like to be please let us know! You can connect with us via facebook or email us at troutmanrhythm@gmail.com

Blessings to all of you for this coming year! May 2021 be filled with all the joy, love, and peace it can muster!

New Addition

We’re so EXCITED to announce that we have got a bun in the oven!

Due May 2021!

Mommy and Baby are both doing well.

We don’t currently know the gender. When asked, Addi requested Olaf! (the snowman character from Frozen)

We’re so excited! We don’t know if we’ll be stateside or overseas at the time of delivery, but we are trusting the Father to take care of us either way.

Please pray for health during this time – last pregnancy Courtney develop gestational diabetes and high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia. The former is likely to happen again. There is a course of treatment that will hopefully help with the latter.

Ice Storm 2020

With as … interesting as 2020 has been- I guess we weren’t terribly surprised when an ice storm blew through Oklahoma IN OCTOBER!! Having had attended college in the area, both Chris and I had been through a number of winter storms and tornadoes and earthquakes here.

Currently we’re living in OKC with Chris’ folks. Thankfully, they haven’t kicked us out yet even though Covid travel restrictions have left us without a departure date. πŸ˜…

So the storms started coming in late Monday (10/26). We lost electricity last Tuesday (10/27). The ice was beautiful but destructive.

The morning after it first hit, I got up early to start work on my computer and for several HOURS I heard branches snapping outside. *crack… crack… crack*

The sheer weight of the collected ice, especially on trees whose leaves had yet to turn green (let alone fall off the tree) broke branches EVERYWHERE. Looking out the back door, the entire yard had a layer of branches! There was so much destruction throughout the city that it was very eerie looking.

The temperature stayed low for a day or two. We all stayed home and huddled around the fireplace. Chris’ folks, who had spent a number of years serving in Africa, were very familiar with power outages. They knew right away how to make sure we were all taken care of. Dad ran an inverter off the car so we could keep phones charges, keep the fridge cold, and use a few lights. Mom adapted immediately to cooking on the grill (despite the cold!). Really our (Chris and I) only meager contribution was a tiny camp stove that allowed us all to make coffee!

By the weekend things had started to warm up (PTL!) but we still had no power. We did get a generator though! That has been able to do much more heavy lifting – we almost feel like things are back to normal. (Except for there is still no oven/stove. No dishwasher. And no clothes dryer- air dry only. But hey, there’s TV and internet!)

I suppose you could say we got a quick crash course in field work for a week and a half! At the time this goes up we are still without power. Electric company has said we should have it by tomorrow. Hoping this will be true so I can get my bake on! (and take care of our mountain of laundry!)

All in all, I guess this is just another chapter to add to the 2020 Covid Diaries.